MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Republican presidential candidates spent the day in Myrtle Beach Saturday, meeting with conservative grassroots leaders and voters.
Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and former governor Mike Huckabee all spoke at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention being held at Springmaid Pier.
It’s the 5th year Republican leaders have spoken at the Tea Party’s convention, but these aren’t outsider candidates. Two of the speakers are leading in the national polls.
Trump and Cruz are both riding a wave of angst against the establisment that has pushed them into front runner status in the 2016 presidential race.
“Theres nothing about Trump that doesn’t speak to me,” said Mikele Haywood.
Haywood is president of the Fayetteville, North Carolina Republican’s Womens Club who traveled to see her preferred candidate, “my heart is racing over Donald Trump.”
Haywood wasn’t alone, Trump was greeted by big applause by the Tea Party faithful Saturday afternoon.
According to Donald Trump, the feeling is mutual, “they’re amazing, dedicated wonderful Americans, who care about this country. That’s what a Tea Party person is.”
Trump used the opportunity to bash both President Obama and the Republican establishment.
“Obama is the worst negotiater I’ve ever seen. Except when it comes to negotiating with the Republican’s, then he’s a great negotiator,” said Trump.
Trump pointed to the budget battle that funded planned parenthood and raises the debt as proof that Washington needs an outsider to clean up the mess.
“It funds Obamacare, it funds the Syrians refugees and people coming over the boarder, I don’t know what they were thinking,” said Trump.
Trump also went after the other front runner in the republican race, Ted Cruz, saying the Texas Senator would be beholden to big donors if elected.
“I mean you give a campaign contribution to Ted Cruz, you get whatever the hell you want,” said Trump.
Cruz spoke a few hours before Trump, and did not go after the candidate by name; but did target candidates who talk big and don’t back it up.
“Let me suggest a simple rule. Ignore what all of us say… look to action,” said Cruz.
Cruz pointed to his own stand for the sanctitiy of marriage as proof of his conservative virtues.
“Listen to what they’ve done. If they’ve surrendered on marraige from the outset, they ain’t going to be there in the future,” said Cruz.
He also presented a different path for international dipolmacy, “rip to shreds this catostraphic iranian nuclear deal.”
Closing to boisterous applause, Cruz pointed to 2016 as the opportunity Republican’s have been waiting for.
“I’m convinced the most long lasting legacy of Barack Obama is a new generation of leaders in the republican party that stand for the constitution. That stand for freedom. That stand with the people,” said Cruz.
More presidential candidates will make their way to the tea party stage over the next couple of days, Rick Santorum is scheduled to speak Sunday and Dr. Ben Carson will speak on Monday.
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